Clifford Antone (1949-2006) slung sandwiches as his first Antone’s endeavor in Austin, but by 1975 the blues had taken over. He opened Antone’s downtown to showcase the best blues artists around. Susan Antone recalls her brother always wanted Antone’s to be a place where you could take your little baby or your grandmother.
The blues slingers came, and, in the early days, Susan would fill them up with a home-cooked meal before they went on stage. For posterity, she made sure to photograph them as well, creating a lasting story of the blues in Austin.
Susan Antone was the honored guest at a benefit Friday night presented by Songwriters across Texas for the Austin History Center Association – Women of Antone’s. The association is a nonprofit organization raising funds for the Austin History Center. Dedicated to preserving the history of Austin and Travis County, the center is a division of the Austin Public Library and is located in a 1933 building on Guadalupe Street that once housed the main library itself.
Continue reading “Women belt out the blues to help preserve Austin history” →
Above, orchids blooming in a patio of La Casa de los Ladrillos in Santiago de Queretaro
The Secret Garden was what Mary called it when she was thinking of it. She liked the name, and she liked still more the feeling that when its beautiful old walls shut her in no one knew where she was. It seemed almost like being shut out of the world in some fairy place.”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden, 1911*
Offering a colorful bouquet in gratitude for the hospitality extended by our host last week in the historic center of Queretaro. Of course, we plucked these flowers virtually from his own garden filling all his patio space with plants that would rival those of any nursery. He has succeeded in creating a magical, soothing respite in the heart of city.
Continue reading “Postcard from Queretaro, Mexico: Bouquet from a patio of Eden” →
Above: Monastery of Santa Maria la Real de las Huelgas
It’s not easy to reign over a contested kingdom when you ascend to the throne at age two. Think of the royal intrigue that would trigger – all the scheming regents and relatives trying to unseat you before you can toddle down a hallway on your own.
But Alfonso VIII (1155-1214), King of Castile and Toledo, managed to ward off a legion of enemies to hold onto his throne – not without assistance and numerous defeats and victories on the battlefield along the way. And crusades against the Alamohads. To consolidate his power and secure a powerful ally while still a teenager, Alfonso gained the hand of 12-year-old Eleanor (Leonora) of England (1161-1214), a daughter of the contentious couple King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
At Leonora’s behest, the young royals founded the Monastery of Santa Maria la Real de las Huelgas in 1187. She bore 11 children before dying less than a month after her husband. The couple and numerous of their children were buried in elaborately decorated chapels within the expansive monastery. Royal weddings held there included that of Eleanor of Castile (1241-1290) to King Edward I of England (1239-1307) while Eleanor was 12 and Edward still a duke.
Continue reading “Postcard from Burgos, Spain: A powerful abbess and underfoot devils” →